Aldi has recently consulted people on its plans for building a new food store in Huyton, on the former Huyton Cricket Club ground. The council has received a few enquiries about the plans which are answered below.
Who owns the land?
The land is not owned by Knowsley Council and neither has it sold it recently. Instead, the land is privately owned and the owner has, the council understands, entered into a commercial relationship with Aldi, in order to progress plans for a new food store and residential development.
The council is aware that the land has not been used as a cricket club for several years.
Given that the council is not the land owner, it cannot prevent a developer from buying the land. Neither can it prevent a developer from applying for planning permission.
Why is the council not investing in the land / making it accessible to the community?
The site is not owned by the council and therefore the council cannot decide on its future use or make it accessible to the community.
What is Knowsley Council’s involvement in the land?
The council has recently received a planning application (from Aldi) to develop the land and it is now in the process of considering the application.
The application (reference 20/00333/HYB) can be viewed and downloaded on the council’s website here, where any formal comments and representations to us about the application can also be made.
The planning application will be considered against the council’s local planning policies, national planning guidance and any other ‘material’ planning considerations. You can read Knowsley Council’s planning policies on our website here. We also welcome comments from local residents.
A ‘material’ planning consideration is one which is relevant to making the planning decision in question (e.g. whether to grant or refuse an application for planning permission). The number and range of issues relevant to a planning decision are many and varied although there are some matters – as explained below – which, by law, are not material to a planning decision.
In considering a planning application, the council is unable to have regard to the merits of an alternative potential use (such as using this site as a ‘community space’). Instead, the council can only consider the specific planning application proposal that is submitted.
Knowsley Council’s thorough consideration of Aldi’s planning application will include a considering whether the site and any buildings on it have heritage value and following on from this, what bearing that this has (if any) on the planning decision.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that the former cricket pavilion building, is not nationally ‘listed’ and neither is it within a conservation area.
Will the plans result in a loss of greenspace/playing pitches?
As part of their plans Aldi have proposed to compensate for the loss of playing pitches on the land through improving playing pitches nearby, at Jubilee Park.
Aldi’s plans to improve pitches at Jubilee Park will be considered as part of Knowsley Council’s overall consideration of the planning application and in doing so it will consult with Sport England.
What about the impacts of Aldi’s plans on noise, air quality and road safety/congestion?
There are a wide range of matters which Knowsley Council will consider as part of making a decision on Aldi’s planning application. As part of the planning process, a number of detailed and technical documents have been submitted by Aldi to support their plans, including those which assess the development’s impacts on ecology, air quality, transport and noise.
The council will scrutinise those documents and also consult with various people and bodies, including Merseyside Police and specialists in the council in Environmental Protection, Highways, and Ecology.
Development proposals of this nature are required to provide a transport assessment to set out any transport issues relating to a proposed development and how they will be addressed. Aldi’s plans include changes the roundabout on Huyton Hey Road. These proposals, along with technical and survey information will be scrutinised by the Council Highway Officers.
Is another Aldi needed when there is one at Tarbock Island and another one planned for Prescot?
Like many developers and operators, Aldi will make decisions on the location of their proposed stores based on market information and customer demand. The ‘need’ for another food store is not a matter which the council can take into account in considering Aldi’s planning application although we will thoroughly interrogate the many other ‘material’ issues which their development raises.
Who is consulting and how can I have my say?
The consultation between the 19 and 29 June was undertaken by Aldi as part of their pre-planning community consultation exercise. They have set up a dedicated website to show the plans which include contact details for any comments or queries. Whilst their consultation period has ended, Aldi have agreed to keep their channels of communication open for people to get in touch with them directly. For comments to be considered as part of the planning application process please go to the council website here.